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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New girlfriend. Her name is...

Aside from both of us being sick over the past two weekends…I found a new girlfriend. Well, Erika calls “her” that. “She” is a wonderful thing. She cooks my meals when Erika is busy or sick. Who is she? Her name is CO-OP. I’m not sure if “she” is a she, but it’s fun to think she is. I’m assuming that CO-OP is short for cooperation. CO-OP is a collection of local farmers and vendors that provide home delivery of their goods. A truck comes by with whatever I ordered from the previous week and picks up my order for the following week. The service costs about 200 yen a week whether or not I place an order. It amazingly reasonable considering that I live out in the middle of nowhere. Each order comes with a mountain of advertisements. The ads cover a wide gamut of goods ranging from desserts/snacks to clothing/cosmetics to appliances/ furniture to plants/flowers to complete meals. It's a department store delivered to your front door. The meals are packaged and frozen just like a TV dinner. Just pop it in the microwave and "ding" you're done! Did I mention that they sell beer? Not that I would indulge in that sort of thing. The complete meals are about 400 yen. Not bad considering how healthy they are. The meals would be considered small for an American appetite, but add some steamed rice and you're good to go. Oh, the meals that feature fish as the main entree have the bones removed. That's important for people like me who don't like to worry about stuff like that. The packaging is all recyclable plastic so dish washing is not required. That's also a good thing for people like me.

What's the real reason for the new girlfriend, George? Good question! Erika is planning for her...umm...let me put this mildly...death. What!? Don't get excited. She's not going to die or anything. She's just worried about me surviving in Japan if something terrible happened to her. She is a very responsible person. neh? That's why I married her. Everyone that knows me knows that I don't cook. I can boil water and I can pour a bowl of cereal, and most important...I can use a microwave. I think it's easy to see why she is so worried. Well, the problem is solved, sort of. I don't need to write anything in Japanese to order food. The order forms have the address already filled out. I just need to look at the pretty pictures in the advertisements and write the item number down in the appropriate box. Walla! Food delivered to my doorstep every week. I love CO-OP.

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